Tamil Nadu Chief Minister (CM) J Jayalalithaa has become the first serving CM to be convicted after the Supreme Court held Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act unconstitutional in July 2013. This took away from MPs, MLAs and MLCs the luxury to have their disqualification held in abeyance for three months, within which time they filed their appeals to higher courts. Congress’s Rasheed Masood and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav were the first couple of MPs to be disqualified under the amended rules in September 2013. The court had held legislators cannot contest elections for six years from the date of the end of their prison term. Jayalalithaa is to serve a four-year prison term. So, Jayalalithaa stands immediately disqualified as a legislator and she cannot contest elections for the next 10 years. However, Jayalalithaa can seek re-election if a higher court acquits her as had happened with her in 2001-02.
SERVING CHIEF MINISTERS CONVICTED OR JAILED IN CRIMINAL CASES
Abdul Rehman Antulay
(Congress) served as CM of Maharashtra from June 1980 to January 1982 when he was forced to quit under political pressure after the Bombay High Court convicted him on charges of extortion. He had allegedly asked builders in Mumbai to donate to a trust fund he controlled, Indira Gandhi Pristhan Trust, in return of helping them with more cement than their allotted quota. Cement, at the time, was a commodity sold by the government at controlled rates. Antulay, who was acquitted, successfully fought several MLA and MP elections and was a central minister in P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh-led governments.
Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD)
quit as CM of Bihar in July 1997 after a CBI court sent him in judicial remand where he spent 134 days for his involvement in the Rs 950-crore fodder scam but ensured that his wife Rabri Devi succeeded him as the CM. Yadav spent time in jail in connection with the case in 1998 and 2001. In September 2013, a special CBI court in Ranchi convicted him in the case, which led to his immediate disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
J Jayalalithaa (AIADMK) stepped down as chief minister of Tamil Nadu in September 2001 after her conviction in the Tansi land scam case. O Panneerselvam served as the CM in her absence. He quit and made way for Jayalalithaa when she was acquitted of the charges some months later.
OTHER CHIEF MINISTERS WHO HAD TO QUIT OR WERE SENT TO JAIL
B S Yeddyurappa (BJP) quit as Karnataka CM in July 2011 after the Lokayukta report found him involved in alleged illegal land deals. He was arrested in October and spent 23 days in jail. The FIR against him was quashed in March 2012. He is currently an MP.
Madhu Koda was CM of Jharkhand from 2006 to 2008. He was arrested in 2009 for his involvement in a mining scam and spent 44 months in jail.
Om Prakash Chautala (INLD) was convicted by a CBI court in January 2013 for irregularities in the recruitment of 3,000 teachers during his term as CM of Haryana. He is serving a 10-year prison term.
Shibu Soren (JMM) was arrested in 2006 when he was a minister in UPA-I, for his alleged involvement in the murder of his secretary Shashi Nath Jha in 1994. He was acquitted. He was the CM of Jharkhand in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Parkash Singh Badal (Shiromani Akali Dal): The current Punjab CM was sent to jail with his son Sukhbir during the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in that state in an alleged corruption case in 2003. They were acquitted later.
Jagannath Mishra, a former Bihar chief minister, was convicted, along with Lalu Prasad Yadav, in the fodder scam in September 2013.